We post this in between two work-in-progress showings of our current project MILTON… last Sunday we invited about 15 people to come see the piece, and this Friday about 50 more folks will get a glimpse as we take part in the Prelude Festival (very excited to be in such stellar company there). Prepping for these showings meant that we were finally in the rehearsal room together with actors, and it’s been deeply rewarding: we’ve spent about 40 hours working out ideas, putting them on their feet, seeing how pieces of writing and songs blend together or bump up next to each other. Right now we have about 25 minutes of material, almost like a collage… it starts with the audience being invited to look at artifacts we’ve gathered or been given in each Milton, and we’ve filled recipe boxes with photographs of and facts about each town that people can look through. Details from each Milton are laced throughout this early version: actors pour an actual glass of Thatcher’s chocolate milk (MA); the audience gets walked through a map of the businesses and homes along Broad St (NC); there is a song about places that are no longer there, like the canning center and the little green church (LA), and the actors describe things that have changed, like the soda fountain that is now a bar (WI) and farmland that is now a middle school (OR). So far the audiences are responding with warmth and interest to the work… we feel like it’s a good start in an attempt to convey the complexity of experiences we’ve had visiting each of the Miltons. Come out to Prelude if you can!